Citation

Choreographic Citizenship: Race, Bodies, and Hip-Hop Dance Groups at the University of Michigan

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Abstract:

In this proposed paper, I examine the relationship between race, cultural citizenship, and hip-hop dance performance through an ethnographic study of Asian/Asian American students at the University of Michigan. At this Midwestern University, hip-hop music and the tightly choreographed and synchronized steps performed by Asian/Asian Americans for pan/ethnic cultural showcases and other university-sponsored events, express multiple racial, ethnic, trans/national identifications. Some dance groups promote �multiculturalism,� as the consumption of black music and dance enables dancers and audiences to collectively �transcend social barriers� within the University, where social segregation has been a reoccurring issue of student life. For dance groups of Asian American student organizations such as the Vietnamese Student Association, Taiwanese American Student Association, and the Chinese Student Association, sound and movement express complex national distinctions drawn from historical and contemporary political relationships between the U.S. and their respective Asian countries. These musical and bodily utterances in hip-hop performance come together at the crossroads of competing notions of race, ethnicity, �blackness,� the politics of multiculturalism, and national belonging.
This paper engages with some public, popular, and academic discourses that suggest that Asian/Asian American participation and interests in hip-hop music are merely attempts at assimilation through the adoption and consumption of U.S. based notions of race in globally mass mediated and circulated hip-hop culture. The understandings of racial and national identification are unable to capture how these dance performances also signify national identifications mediated by global processes; that is, these hip-hop dance performances are situated within the relationship between contemporary citizenship policies and transnational economic and political circuits between the U.S. and Asia. These performance practices sit at the crossroads of the local and global, navigating domestic and global politics through bodily cultural expressions. Further, attention to bodily movement and its significations suggest the importance of the theoretical and methodological frameworks of performance studies and dance studies and the possibilities they might engender for American studies.
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Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245190_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Chung, Brian. "Choreographic Citizenship: Race, Bodies, and Hip-Hop Dance Groups at the University of Michigan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Oct 16, 2008 <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245190_index.html>

APA Citation:

Chung, B. S. , 2008-10-16 "Choreographic Citizenship: Race, Bodies, and Hip-Hop Dance Groups at the University of Michigan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency, Albuquerque, New Mexico <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245190_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: In this proposed paper, I examine the relationship between race, cultural citizenship, and hip-hop dance performance through an ethnographic study of Asian/Asian American students at the University of Michigan. At this Midwestern University, hip-hop music and the tightly choreographed and synchronized steps performed by Asian/Asian Americans for pan/ethnic cultural showcases and other university-sponsored events, express multiple racial, ethnic, trans/national identifications. Some dance groups promote �multiculturalism,� as the consumption of black music and dance enables dancers and audiences to collectively �transcend social barriers� within the University, where social segregation has been a reoccurring issue of student life. For dance groups of Asian American student organizations such as the Vietnamese Student Association, Taiwanese American Student Association, and the Chinese Student Association, sound and movement express complex national distinctions drawn from historical and contemporary political relationships between the U.S. and their respective Asian countries. These musical and bodily utterances in hip-hop performance come together at the crossroads of competing notions of race, ethnicity, �blackness,� the politics of multiculturalism, and national belonging.
This paper engages with some public, popular, and academic discourses that suggest that Asian/Asian American participation and interests in hip-hop music are merely attempts at assimilation through the adoption and consumption of U.S. based notions of race in globally mass mediated and circulated hip-hop culture. The understandings of racial and national identification are unable to capture how these dance performances also signify national identifications mediated by global processes; that is, these hip-hop dance performances are situated within the relationship between contemporary citizenship policies and transnational economic and political circuits between the U.S. and Asia. These performance practices sit at the crossroads of the local and global, navigating domestic and global politics through bodily cultural expressions. Further, attention to bodily movement and its significations suggest the importance of the theoretical and methodological frameworks of performance studies and dance studies and the possibilities they might engender for American studies.


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